It is fascinating that in a country where we waste up to 40% of our food which as Jonathan Bloom recently said in an interview with CNN, is enough wasted food to fill the 90,000 seat Rosebowl stadium daily, that families are food insecure and food deserts are flourishing. The useless and toothless USDA is putting that number at 25%, and if we go with those surely lowballed numbers, that still translates into 360 million barrels of oil wasted a day.
The phrase food desert describes areas that have little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet (like fruits and vegetables) but are often served by plenty of fast food restaurants. The entire city of Detroit is considered such as area and has not one major food chain in residence. The remaining residents of this rapidly shrinking city have decided that living in a food desert is unacceptable and have taken on as a solution Urban Agriculture or Guerilla Gardening which is the practice of growing food anywhere one can from vacant lots to park grounds to abandoned front yards.
Infuse Detroit is one such group and they boast that they have grown over 2000 tons of food that they have given to food shelters and the like. Their gardens have no fences and they encourage the residents of Detroit to take from them what they need.
Another amazing group hard at the tilling and the growing is D-Town Farm. The intro to this clip is a little rough but well worth the watch.
Grown in Detroit is an amazing Co-op that not only has a farmers market for the farmers to sell their locally grown produce, but helps the farmers sell to restaurants and other retail spaces.
- From Motown to Growtown: The greening of Detroit (grist.org)
- Improving access to fresh food in Detriot (eatocracy.cnn.com)
- Three projects that are watering Detroit’s ‘food desert’ (grist.org)
- American Cities Should Model Themselves After…Detroit? (food.change.org)
- The Clean Plate Club as a solution to climate change? (sfgate.com)